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Lachlan is a writer, science-fiction critic and nursery-hand (the garden kind, not the baby kind), and the author of two books: the deeply Australian post-apocalyptic tale The Rain Never Came, and the giant-monster story-cycle We Call It Monster. He also write science fiction criticism for Aurealis magazine, his short fiction can be found floating around online, and he has completed a PhD that critically and creatively explored the relationship between Australian post-apocalyptic fiction and Australian notions of national identity.

He loves all things music-related, the Australian environment, overlooked genres and playing in the garden.

He hopes that you’re having a nice day.

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Authors Book Genres
Dystopian, Horror, Literary Fiction, Outback Fiction, Science Fiction
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Dystopian, Literary Fiction, Outback Fiction, Science Fiction

In a drought-stricken future Australia, the Eastern states have been evacuated. A stubborn few resist this forced removal, hiding out in small country towns where no one would bother looking.

Bill and Tobe are two such holdouts, passing their hot, monotonous existence drinking at the barely standing pub. When strange lights appear across the Western sky, it seems that those embittered by the drought are seeking revenge. And Bill and Tobe are in their path.

Mateship. It’s a love stronger than romance. Which is why larrikin Bill finds himself leaving town time and again with the erratic, wild, charismatic, dangerous Tobe… It is a fresh look at the genre: A dystopia centred around the relationship between two knockabout blokes trying to survive… Filled with so many Australian idioms it felt as if Alf Stewart was dumped into the outback, the strong Australian pride and wording sets The Rain Never Came apart from the competition. An enjoyable read filled with beautiful imagery and Australian characters. Well worth having a butcher’s.


I was expecting a point to be made—and it turns out to be that communities endure, and that even in the midst of misery people frequently choose to be kind. That hardship doesn’t mean the end of moral development; that really only in hardship can our morals calcify into something tangible and trustworthy. This underlying sense of optimism is very welcome in post-apocalyptic fiction… Bill and Tobe, quintessential piss-taking Aussie blokes as they are, capable of tramping through bush, skinning kangaroos, and being in general the stereotypical manly men, are also both very open with their emotions. They hug a lot, they cry a lot. They don’t consider emotion to be weakness, in others or in themselves, and there’s something very refreshing about all this… Walter constantly goes back to the land in this novel, using it as the touchstone reminder of devastation, and of apocalypse. Readers are never allowed to forget the enormity of the ecological devastation that’s at the very centre of this narrative, and neither are the characters.

Strange Horizons

On the surface, The Rain Never Came is a fairly standard tale of societal collapse in the wake of global climate change… But it has peculiarly Australian depths and dimensions that make it exceptionally rewarding, and especially fresh for non-Australian readers. In American SF (as in larger American culture), we’re accustomed to an individualistic streak, to protagonists who defy authority and convention, to the lovable rogue and the witty badass defying society’s restrictions. Australian culture plays with the same concept, but in a starker, edgier form fraught with more tension. It’s analogous to the way those accustomed to American beer are often overcome by the more potent Australian brew… When the climate turns bad, the government has to force people to evacuate. And larrikins have to refuse to leave, to assert their independence. Yet they must also pay the price of their rebellion. The question of the exact nature of the inevitable price paid by Bill and Tobe informs The Rain Never Came with an unexpected potency.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact

Horror, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction

One ordinary day, an enormous creature dragged itself out of the ocean and laid waste to a city. In the months and years that followed, more and more creatures appeared until not a single country remained untouched. At first, people tried to fight them. In the end, all they could do was try and stay alive.

We Call It Monster is a story of forces beyond our control, and of immense and impossible creatures that make plain how small we really are. It is the story of our fight for survival and our discovery of that which truly matters: community and compassion, love and family, hope and faith.

We Call It Monster reimagines formulaic kaiju fiction with unexpected focus on the human experience – Walter experiments with the genre by disregarding Godzilla-type clichés of over-the-top military assaults, monstrous battles and human superiority. Instead, he presents a short story cycle with each chapter focusing on a new protagonist. The strength of this approach is in diversity—Walter provides a representative collection of characters… We Call It Monster also considers the vulnerability of humanity to forces beyond its control. Terror is derived not only from the monsters, but from the inadequacy and helplessness of society in general. Individuals become the ‘heroes’ of the story, not for fighting or defeating monsters, but for retaining their humanity… This, along with a believable sprinkling of Australian colloquialisms, produces a distinctive tone. We Call It Monster is a unique take on giant monsters that will absorb readers.


We Call It Monster is firmly embedded in the kaiju tradition—giant creatures battling humanity and each other, crawling out of deep places and into sunlight. They’re fascinating to read about, these monsters… This is world-changing stuff, world-destroying stuff, and there comes a point when you think we really have it coming. And I love that what exists alongside this hideous balancing of scales is those who are not monsters at all. I find this take on the end of the world deeply refreshing. Why? Because Walter’s characters are decent people. The communities these individuals hold on to and construct, the society they make in the midst of ruin, are ones of decent people doing the best they can to help each other survive. People are kind to each other. They navigate disaster, the end of all things, with the best possible grace they can manage… We Call It Monster, says Walter. There’s recognition in the calling.

Strange Horizons

We Call It Monster is not really a novel and not really a book of short stories, but something in between. And this is how this strange hybrid book succeeds. If we consider it a novel, the protagonist is the whole human race, and its story spans the book. If we look at the work as a set of short stories, then each one delineates a character and that person’s reaction to disaster as it approaches and engulfs his or her life… Each tale is individualistic, creative and self contained, yet meshing with the tone of the total work to keep us involved and wanting to read on… A sensitive portrayal of the human race in adversity. Highly recommended for…just about everyone.

Renaissance Writer

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